The peak real estate body is pushing for a national licensing system that would reduce operating costs for multi-state agencies.
Real Estate Institute of Australia president Neville Sanders said the harmonisation of state and territory property laws would make it easier for agencies to do business.
“It's just common sense that we align all our laws and harmonise on every aspect,” Mr Sanders told Residential Property Manager.
“If we had a harmonisation of property laws and a national licence, all the impediments for people expanding business, people shifting interstate or agencies near borders would be reduced.”
Mr Sanders said the differing licences and laws can affect landlords just as much as property managers and principals.
“Many property managers will tell you a story of talking to a landlord or tenant who says ‘I have this right’, and they have to say ‘Oh, you might in another state but not in this one’,” he said.
Mr Sanders said harmonisation is a constant topic of discussion for the REIA board, although he couldn’t put an exact time frame on when it might occur.
He did say it would take a lot of resources from each of the states and territories to bring national licensing and law standardisation to fruition.
Kasey McDonald, a former director of a Coolangatta agency, said it was very difficult and expensive running a business on the border of Queensland and New South Wales.
Ms McDonald, who is now a BDM for LJ Hooker Paradise Point and a trainer for BDM Academy, said she had to use different trust accounts and bank accounts for each state.
In regards to software systems, Ms McDonald said the business also had to have two separate databases, which made identifying a client when they called in difficult.
“You had to ask them ‘Oh, sorry, are you in NSW or are you in Queensland?’” she told Residential Property Manager.
Ms McDonald said national standardising should include staff registration certificates as well as principals’ full licenses.
“Because the legislation in regards to the residential tenancy acts are so different in every state, that means that staff still have to apply for a certificate in all the other states,” she said.